Birchbox Review | September

1-2013-10-01 14.22.43What Birchbox does well is help a girl get in the mood for the changing of times. While fall hasn’t made an official appearance here in L.A. quite yet (it’ll likely take a few more weeks for the weather to catch up to the calendar), Birchbox sent along color palettes and products that as soon as I opened the package made me feel like fall had arrived. This month’s selections were a nice nod to the autumn season…well, when it finally gets here in a more official capacity. You can also join the Birchbox fun by using this link:

Here’s how September shaped up…


*product review from left to right*

  • amika Blow Up Spray – A line of products that have been fun to experiment with since my relationship with Birchbox have been the amika product line. I always like their intention – infusing their products with high quality ingredients and I tend to rave about how great everything smells from this line. However, I have yet to ever purchase anything full-sized. Their Blow Up Spray would also apply to this train of thought. I personally didn’t find my hair to be any more voluminous from using this product on my wet hair, but it has a nice twist in acting as a hair spray on dry hair which didn’t leave my hair too sticky or flaky. The caveat for me is that I’m very happy with what I use to cover this need at a fraction of the cost, L’Oreal’s Elnett Satin Hairspray. It made me a believer in a great hold without the residue early last year, making amika’s product a pass for me.

  • Caudalie Make-up Remover Cleansing Water – I’m not a huge fan of make-up removers and don’t use them. This is in part because I’m a firm believer in the old soap and water trick to really remove the day’s make-up. In my book, this task comes from a good facial cleanser (preferably that one that foams so I’m more fooled into thinking it’s really getting deep down in my pores) and a light toner afterward to get anything left behind. Caudalie’s Make-Up Removing Cleanser claims that you can simply use this product to remove traces of make-up without having to rinse. I didn’t find this to be the case. At. All. This might be nice to use after already having washed your face in a toner capacity, but as a pure make-up remover where you’re encouraged not to rinse – I still had to wash my face to get that “completely clean” feeling. Pass.

  • RUFFIAN Nail Lacquer – It seems I’m always getting the same color palette when Birchbox sends me nail polish and it’s in the green color family. It’s getting quite annoying given the amount of colors there are in the universe, but for the sake of it being “fall-inspired,” I’ll let it go. This time. RUFFIAN’s Nail Lacquer in Hedge Fund is a rich olive-green hue. Though fun to play with a color I wouldn’t normally wear, I cannot say that I was any more or less impressed with this nail polish than brands that I normally use. I did think that the design of the top handle was unique and provided more control when applying the lacquer. What I wasn’t impressed with was having to use two coats of a high shine clear polish over this color to get that extra gloss I like (I hate matte looking nail polish), so Birchbox’s confident assertion of a “glossy high-end nail polish” seems a stretch to me. My experience with this product is neutral overall – though I’d use my sample when I want to shake things up on my nails.

  • Coastal Scents® Neutral Mirage Palette Set – This sample arrived damaged when I opened my package. One of the eye shadow palettes had shattered in transit so it didn’t photograph well above. Birchbox was quick to respond to my inquiry and kind to re-ship me another sample, but it hasn’t arrived as of writing time. I did experiment with the messy sample so that I could go ahead and get my post up. The 4 color palette held deeper shades more appropriate to the change in seasons – rich green, gold, bronze, and blue. The colors were vibrant and long-lasting, though I did use these a primer when working with the sample. In short, I was impressed with this  product. I was especially happy to see that the full-sized version is a large eye shadow palette holding 88 different shades! I don’t own a huge eye shadow palette like this because my fear would be that I would use a small handful of the colors and leave the rest – making it an unnecessary purchase. However, taking a closer look at the different shades and my positive experience with the sample palette, I’m reconsidering. I have a hefty amount of Birchbox points that I could use toward this purchase, making it a steal. This was my favorite product of the month.

  • Egyptian Magic Skin Cream –  Call if a judgement, if you will, but I was leery about this product before I even opened it. Anything deemed “Magic” is not only completely cheesy in my opinion, but rarely true when it comes to beauty products that claim so. And I was right to be biased about this. The Egyptian Magic Skin Cream smelled horrible and was rather greasy. Two no-no’s when it comes to anything I put on my skin. Aside from the no-no’s, my hands did feel moisturized…but I wouldn’t go so far as to say “magically.” The total deal breaker? It has the consistency/texture of Vaseline – which I would just use instead of this if I needed something like it. Don’t waste your time. Nothing magic here.


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